Our annual award program honors outstanding use of social media by government agencies in the United States. Winners were announced on March 30 at a special awards ceremony during the hybrid 2022 Government Social Media Conference in Dallas, Texas.
People who manage social media in government are in one of the most difficult fields for social media professionals. The Golden Post Awards is a free program dedicated to recognizing their hard work, which frequently involves high stakes, high expectations and limited resources in facilitating open communication with the public.
Winner: Kaitlin Keeler, Oakland County, Michigan
Congratulations to Kaitlin Keeler for being recognized as the Social Media Professional of the Year! The award honors a social media professional in government who is known in the space for their work, while being committed to supporting and teaching fellow communicators. Kaitlin's mission for many years has been to ensure every social media professional has the skills and confidence they need in championing their agency's social media policy. She has worked tirelessly through workshops, GSMCON sessions, webinars and more to assist her fellow colleagues. Kaitlin is a long-time GSM supporter, having served on the very first GSMCON steering committee and has been deeply involved in the community ever since.
Previous recipients include Chris Hsiung, Mary Jo Flynn and Kristen Waggener, well-known advocates in the socialgov space.
Follow Kaitlin Keeler on Twitter.
Winner: Jordan Gilgenbach, City of Minneapolis, MN
We’re proud to announce Jordan Gilgenbach as the recipient of the 2022 Social Media Leadership Award! This recognition is focused on an individual who is known for being the champion of an important area within the profession. Jordan’s work as a government trendsetter on TikTok has encouraged many others to join the TikTok movement, and he has personally worked with many to educate how to best use the platform to both educate and entertain.
Past winners include Emily Allen Lucht.
Winner: Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
The team at TSA does incredible work with a very challenging arena for government–handling customer service on a large scale. Team TSA, led by Janis Burl, has over a dozen team members and is faced with a staggering number of up to 5,000 questions daily. Their social media posts are informative, creative, humorous and sometimes thought provoking, all while answering critical questions from travelers. Hats off to the TSA social media team for their amazing work!
Past winners include Team Gilbert of Gilbert, Arizona.
Winner: City of Houston, Texas
Nextdoor awarded the City of Houston, Texas with the Nextdoor Neighborly Award for their exceptional use of this platform and how they embrace best practices to have the PIO office take the lead and manage Nextdoor for their agency, have multiple departments posting, creating engaging, quality posts driving real value.
Winner: Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Meta awarded the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for their Facebook Favorite Award! The department was chosen for how they embody not only our best practices on Facebook, but exemplify what it means to bring the world closer together and create impact in the state of Tennessee. They created a campaign designed to provide a platform for people with disabilities and their families to share their experiences and voices in a meaningful way, educating the community and providing a space for empathy and engagement across the state in a time when the world seems forever divisive.
Winner: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The robust customer service-driven response of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on social media is not only consistent, thorough and swift, but goes above and beyond by encouraging curiosity in their audience, which they say they “serve them by focusing on 5 elements: mission and a tangible vision for change; listening to diverse stakeholders and practicing empathy; remaining curious and seeking continual improvement; embracing risk and fostering resilience; building partnerships.” This all-encompassing approach to customer service embodies what socialgov should strive for in serving its customers and audiences.
Winner: City of Battle Creek, Michigan
The City of Battle Creek, Michigan exceptionally uses the platform to focus on inclusivity by sharing emergency information in multiple languages and engaging residents. They fully use Nextdoor in their community as it’s intended - to communicate and engage with people at their neighborhood level.
Winner: Delaware County Board of Commissioners, Ohio
Delaware County Board of Commissioners, Ohio uses video to speak to tourism, economic development, quality of life, annual reports, resilience and their response to COVID. To quote a judge “It just hit so many layers.” The video was made to address concerns and provide visual proof that we have not only survived some incredible challenges, but we have continued to grow and maintain the quality of life that Delaware County is renowned for.
Winner: Williamson County, Texas
The judges were impressed with Williamson County, Texas’ video because of the incredible story they told! The lyrics of the song, the incredible singing and the simple, but artistic filming made their video stand out. Just as important as voice is in times of fun and sharing daily successes, it’s crucial to develop that connection with your audience so that your message will be amplified when there is a crisis.
Winner: Miami-Dade Fire Rescue
This monumental tragedy of the Surfside Building Collapse Emergency Response garnered international attention. The judges felt Miami-Dade Fire Rescue truly excelled in telling the story of the emergency and honoring the victims in this tragedy. Their messages were clear, consistent and inclusive of their entire audience -- you cannot ask for more during an emergency event.
Winner: Graham Fire and Rescue, Washington
Graham Fire and Rescue, Washington’s Facebook Page displayed the perfect combination of professionalism, engagement and appropriate humor. Their page went above and beyond in providing information and context while remaining highly engaged and responsive with their audience.
Winner: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The unique niche the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s podcast, Fish of the Week, fills is its detail to the biology of America’s fishes through the lens of cultural fishing practices and connections. It balances a mix of subject matter experts in the field (including the hosts) with guest from all walks of life, humor, and respect of all the fishes and diversity of people who depend on fish for sustenance, tradition, recreation, inspiration, and livelihoods. It’s a consistently delivered government podcast that focuses on inclusivity and human-fish connections.
Winner: City of McKinney, Texas
City of McKinney, Texas effectively educates its residents and engages them beyond standard posts. Their use of Instagram Stories was stellar, creative and engaging, and they mastered how to be both informative and memorable. Rather than a post that lists 10 items you can recycle, they created Trash Talk, a series of trash and recycling reels that answer commonly asked questions by using viral audio and humor, allowing them to get important messaging across in a quick sound-bite-style that residents enjoy and remember.
Winner: City of Tampa, Florida
City of Tampa, Florida’s LinkedIn presence allowed the culture of its city to shine. Their remarkable story-telling ability made the judges want to work for or, at least visit, their community. Their commitment to inclusivity was clear and their audience is consistently engaged with content, including, celebrating employee accomplishments, recruitment, sharing city news, behind-the-scenes look, representing your values and more.
Winner: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation team’s responsiveness and engagement is what really impressed the judges. In addition, their comprehensive social media strategy and use of Twitter’s accessibility features made your entry stand out above the rest. Their organic growth through the platform is impressive and representative of the hard work their team puts in.